Date: 15th July 2019 at 8:18pm
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According to La Voix du Nord (h/t Sport Witness), Everton are interested in Rafael Leao and have approached LOSC Lille with a view to paying £36m for his signature. The Toffees are in the market for a new centre-forward to replace Cenk Tosun and compete with Dominic Calvert-Lewin for a starting place next season.

Leao is on Everton’s radar after scoring and creating 10 goals in 26 games for Lille last season. He only joined the Ligue 1 outfit from Sporting CP in August 2018, but president Gerard Lopez is looking to cash in on his signature while his value is high. Lille signed Leao on a free transfer 11 months ago and could make a monumental profit if he’s sold.

Whether the Blues are willing to spend so much on an unproven striker remains to be seen, however. The Portuguese u21 international only made his senior debut last year and scored just one goal in the last three months of the 2018/19 season. It would be a gamble for Everton to make Leao their marquee signing to strengthen their strike-force.

Marcel Brands is in the market for young players with great potential, but the Lille forward might not be the one they sign.

Read Crippy Cooke’s previous article